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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
nhfishandwildlif@aol.com

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Thursday 01/16/2014 Its spring out there..maybe not.

What what temperature swings I've had the last two weeks.

Two Saturdays ago my wife and I were returning from Aruba. We had a 100 plus change in temperatures that night. It was in the low 90's with a nice breeze when we left in the afternoon and flew into Manchester that night. Overnight it got down to 14 F below zero. More like hoping out of the frying pan into the deep freezer. And that was just the first of the wild temperature extremes we have had the last ten days.

I was working the Rockingham Sportsmen's show in Salem for the National Wildlife Federation over this past weekend. Despite the cold of last week we headed into the low 50s at one point over the weekend with plenty of rain the last few days to boot. In fact my daughter mentioned that as they were driving from Concord to my house in Epsom Saturday evening the west end of 393 was in the low 30's and by the hill in Chichester it was near 50 degrees. Just a little elevation spiked the temps.

And has the snow gone. Really south of here there is very little snow left. Even by last Sunday there was a lot of bare ground by the time I drove to Manchester. And now with another big rain storm with overnight temps in the 40's the hay fields here are bare with green grass poking up all over.

But of coarse this IS still winter and we are just one snow storm away from being buried again. but still this has been some January thaw, one we usually don't get until the end of the month.

I'm see turkeys again about with deer tracks all over the place. Gone are the cedars at my daughters house with deer moving right into her yard. It sure looks to be another easy winter for deer, possibly our fourth in a row if this keeps up.

But not so good for our moose if we loose snow cover by April over much of the state. According to moose biologist Kris Rines it is that snow cover in April that keeps the tick numbers down for our moose. If the female ticks fall off on bare ground in April the eggs hatch in great abundance and attack our moose the next winter. We really do need some winter back to save our moose.

The lack of snow sure is putting a damper on our local snowmobilers. The local club has not set up their normal fencing and signs to keep sleds off the hay field across from my house. Something they have done for years. And sure enough there were snowmobile tracks all over the field. These damage the crop for next summer despite the cover of snow. Next thing you know this trail will be closed. I'm sure the lack of snow the last several years has put a damper on club participation.

I even noticed some open water along the edges of the local brooks and the Soucook River. All this rain and melting snow has driven up our steams, at least the Suncook River, to a low flood stage.

I'm hoping the ice will hold as the ice fishing season usually extends into early March. I bet things are kind of wet on the ice now. Real slushy going no doubt. I hope to get out later this week.


   

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2014-01-23 Brrrrrrrrrrrrr and we have a conundrum here.

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